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PACIFICI, Gian Maria. Clinical pharmacology of gentamicin in neonates: regimen, toxicology and pharmacokinetics. MedicalExpress (São Paulo, online) [online]. 2015, vol.2, n.5, M150501. ISSN 2358-0429.

Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic. It kills bacteria by inhibiting protein synthesis and to some extent by lysing the cell envelope. Gentamicin is frequently the first choice drug because of its reliability, but also because of the long experience with its use. In combination with β-lactam antibiotics it is recommended for the treatment of sepsis or pneumonia and is active against P. aeruginosa, Enterobacter, Klebsiella and Serratia. However, gentamicin is ototoxic and nephrotoxic. The human mitochondrial genetic variant m.1555A > G has been reported to be an important cause of non-syndromic hereditary hearing dysfunction and may cause permanent hearing loss. Even short courses of gentamicin therapy in healty newborn infants can lead to abnormalities of auditory function. It is active against very resistant bacteria at peak concentrations (> 10 mg/l) that are high enough to be potentially toxic. For safe therapeutic efficacy, peak plasma concentrations of gentamicin should range from 4 to 10 mg/l; but trough concentrations, immediately before a new drug administration, must be lower that 2 mg/L to avoid toxic effects. Pharmacokinetic parameters vary considerably in infants. Half-life ranges from 5.4 to 10.0 hours, clearance 0.50 to 1.71 ml/h/kg and distribution volume from 0.4 to 0.7 l/kg. Preterm infants have a longer half-life than full-term infants. Thus, it is mandatory to monitor gentamicin serum concentrations whenever infants are treated for 48 hours or more.

Keywords : Gentamicin; Neonate; Nephrotoxicity; Ototoxicity; Pharmacokinetics; Toxicity.

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